Running your own fitness studio is no easy feat. Most studio owners open their doors because they’re passionate about making people feel empowered and confident through exercise and want to spread their love of fitness far and wide. Of course, that passion often gets overshadowed by the administrative tasks that come with operating a business.
As a studio, a majority of your taxing business-related duties have to do with making sure your classes are running smoothly and attracting as many clients as possible. If you can optimize your classes and streamline their management, you can free up more of your time to focus on the aspects of owning a fitness business you do love. In this article, we’re going to give you some tips to help you do that.
How an Optimized Class Timetable Increases Client Retention & Studio Revenue
The era of the boutique fitness studio is upon us. In their 2019 Global Consumer Fitness Survey, Les Mills found that 46% of regular exercisers are doing fitness class activities, and that number is only growing. Active individuals, especially millennials and Gen Zers, are trending more toward specialized group fitness activities (e.g., indoor cycling, yoga, boxing, barre) that offer benefits such as increased motivation, accountability, workout variety, opportunities to socialize, and so on.
While this is obviously great news for studio owners, it also means more people will be looking to capitalize on this trend and you’ll be looking at a surge of competition. When you’re vying for clients in the pool of prospects, having an optimized class schedule will be crucial for convincing them to choose you. The more accessible and convenient your schedule is for the widest audience, the more attendees you’ll attract and retain — and the more revenue your studio will yield.
So, what do you have to do to achieve that? Offer the right classes at the right time for the right demographic. Let’s go over some tips to help you get there.
1) Review the numbers of your current class schedule.
The first step to improving your class timetable is to get an accurate look at how it’s currently performing. Go through the reporting for your classes to see which types, time slots, and instructors are most popular. With this information, you’ll be better able to determine whether your current timetable is profitable enough and diagnose opportunities for making more lucrative adjustments.
When you’re using a club management software like ClubWise, reporting is built right into your system. Reporting in our Dashboard allows you to easily identify which classes are performing well, which may need to be reviewed, identify your most popular classes and instructors, and report on class income.
See what ClubWise looks like on desktop and in the app on our website.
2) Consider your demographics.
To create a class schedule that suits the needs, habits, and preferences of your clients, you need to understand what those needs, habits, and preferences are. Take a look at how your membership base breaks down into different groups, such as age range, gender, location (city vs. suburb). Consider which activities your largest demographics are likely to want to do and when would be most convenient for them to do it.
For example, if you’re in a Florida suburb with a high population of retirees, ideal class times will probably fall in the mid-morning or afternoon and gear towards lighter-impact activities such as water aerobics or resistance band training. On the flip side, if you’re located in the heart of NYC, your main demographic will likely be much younger and looking for high calorie-burning classes they can take after their 9-5.
3) Get feedback from clients.
No one will know which time slots, activities, and other elements of your class timetable will work best for your clients better than the clients themselves. Go directly to the source and ask them about what class times work best for their schedules, which workouts they like to do, their ideal class length, favorite instructors, and other class preferences.
You can engage with them directly in the studio, or a more efficient option would be to send out an email or text with a link to a survey where they can provide feedback each quarter. There are plenty of great survey builders out there that make it easy to create a questionnaire that covers everything you need to make more informed decisions. If you have a client app, you can also send push notification reminders for users to take the survey.
4) Streamline the booking process.
Your studio’s class schedule should be easy for current clients and new prospects to find, navigate, and book. If you make them do too much work to get the information they need and complete signup, they’ll just go to one of their many other, easier, options.
An all-in-one club management software will come in handy here by giving you the ability to automate schedule updates, let clients book their own classes, accept payments, and create and sell packages to offer more affordable prices that encourage longer-term retention.
5) Place instructors strategically.
If your classes are the backbone of your fitness studio, then your instructors are the heart. They’re the ones who motivate, energize, and guide clients through each class and often their entire fitness journey. Consequently, many of your clients will end up being loyal to specific instructors — something you can use to your advantage.
After you’ve gone over your reports to see which instructors are your most popular, you can schedule them strategically to
attract the most clients. Many studios will have their top instructors teach in quieter time slots for a bigger draw. Or, if you’re in an area with a lot of nearby competing studios, you may want to leverage popular instructors during peak time slots to give your classes an edge.
From auto scheduling and payments to detailed reporting and client accessibility,
ClubWise has everything you need to unlock your studio’s full potential and focus on what matters most — your members.